We consider ourselves pretty on top of abortion news. I mean, we follow several abortion listservs! I’m pretty sure I’m getting targeted ads for baby gear because I google abortion every day but have yet to schedule an appointment. We know what’s up. We go to independent clinics throughout the year. Look, we don’t have to prove anything to you. But still, following all the news, we were floored to see that 26 independent clinics closed last year. That’s SO many people who aren’t receiving services they desperately need. That’s SO many greedy politicians. 

Not that it’s anything new, but any number in the Abortion Care Network study of independent clinics was SURPRISING. It’s more that they were … staggering. Does that make sense? We knew it was bad but seeing at once that there are 32% fewer clinics now than there were in 2012 is STAGGERING. 

And that’s why we gotta treat every possible clinic closing like an emergency. It’s hard sometimes for headline writers to convey just how bad closings are. We’re not gonna like, call people out, but being like “this is the third busiest clinic in the 2nd busiest region” doesn’t always convey what it needs to. When clinics close, patients are denied care. And we don’t want a single patient left behind in 2020.

So pay attention to Cincinnati where a Planned Parenthood is being forced to jump through hoops to stay open. Behind all the flashy “we’ve lost our damn minds and are just saying you can’t get abortion at all! We’re writing in legal docs that Roe should be reconsidered!” nonsense from anti-abortion people is a lot of… pencil pushing gremlins in state politics who are like “Well actually, I can say you filed something wrong and get your clinic to close!” 

And you always gotta remember that even if your state is good… they aren’t always good! Massachusetts may seem like an open-minded haven (not Boston) but it a clinic in Brookline is ALSO facing a possible closure this year if they don’t get enough support on their GoFundMe campaign.  They could close due to a lack of grant funding… they’ve been open 27 years and are part of the community. AND EVEN THEY ARE NOT SAFE!

Independent clinics are being attacked on multiple fronts. Just one clinic closing could mean hundreds of patients go without care every week, or thousands of patients have to travel farther, pay for more daycare and gas, get more time off work. The ripple effect of a clinic shutting down is impossible to measure. But it’s hug!  We gotta pay attention to these stories of potential closings and follow them closely before they become a number on an end of year list!